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10 best cars under $30k in Canada

10 top picks for new car buyers on a budget.

The average price of a new vehicle in Canada reached a record high of $67,817, according to the AutoTrader Price Index. But if you’re on a much tighter budget than that, don’t worry—there are plenty of great-value cars you can get for less than half the average new vehicle price. Keep reading to learn more about the 10 best cars under $30k in Canada.

Hyundai Elantra: $21,999

Hyundai Elantra

There’s no better place to start your under-$30k car shopping adventure than with the Hyundai Elantra. This four-door sedan is powered by a 2-litre, 147 horsepower engine matched with Hyundai’s Smartstream Intelligent Variable Transmission. It features a stylish exterior design and a long list of practical features, including dual-zone automatic climate control, a Bose sound system and Hyundai SmartSense active safety tech. With the Essential, Preferred and Luxury Elantra trims all available for an MSRP of less than $30k, this sedan is well worth a closer look.

Why it’s one of the best

The Elantra regularly features among Canada’s top-selling cars. It boasts an impressive combined fuel economy of 6.5L per 100km. Additionally, it includes modern features like Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and a wireless charging pad to enhance user-friendliness. And with the Elantra also earning a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, you can enjoy added peace of mind when hitting the road.

Downsides

  • Some drivers might prefer an engine with a bit more firepower
  • No manual transmission

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Honda Civic: $26,790

Honda Civic 2024

This ever-popular sedan is available in four trims, with the base trim MSRP sitting comfortably within your $30k budget. Powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine, the Civic delivers responsive handling and impressive fuel economy figures. It’s loaded with practical features, including a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and an extensive suite of driver assistance technologies.

Why it’s one of the best

All things considered, it’s easy to see why the Civic is one of the top-selling cars in Canada. It’s stylish outside, practical inside, fun to drive and not too thirsty. The Civic was featured in Car and Driver’s list of the 10 Best Cars for 2024 and was also named the Edmunds 2023 Top Rated Car. With a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and a 5-star car safety rating from the NHTSA, the Civic offers a whole lot of bang for your buck.

Downsides

  • Sedan doesn’t have a manual transmission
  • Some reviewers mention road noise issues

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Car loan interest rates in Canada

Wondering what the current rates are in Canada for a new or used car? Compare the latest car loan rates in our guide.

Toyota Corolla: $23,490

Toyota Corolla

Like car buyers in several other countries, Canadians have had a long-standing love affair with the humble Toyota Corolla. The Corolla is powered by a 2-litre, 4-cylinder engine that delivers fuel economy figures of 7.4 litres per 100km in the city and 5.7 litres per 100km for highway driving. It’s loaded with safety features and compatible with both Apple CarPlay & Android Auto. If you don’t want a sedan, there’s a hatchback version available that also sits well within your $30,000 budget.

Why it’s one of the best

The Corolla has long been a mainstay on lists of the top-selling cars in Canada, and it was the top-selling car worldwide in 2022. Why is it so popular? It could have something to do with winning a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA. It could be because of the Corolla’s impressive fuel economy and long list of safety features. Or maybe it’s just because of Toyota’s famous reliability and strong resale value, which are big selling points for many buyers.

Downsides

  • Not known for its sporty performance or handling
  • Limited trunk space

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Volkswagen Jetta: $23,595

Volkswaggen Jetta

The only European on this list, the Jetta is a German-engineered sedan that has a whole lot going for it. Powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine paired with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission, the Jetta delivers a combined fuel economy of 7L (manual) or 6.9L (auto) per 100km. Step inside and you’ll find a roomy interior, minimal road noise, ventilated and heated front seats and handy features like wireless device charging.

Why it’s one of the best

There are many reasons why the VW Jetta is worth a look for buyers on a $30k budget. It delivers great fuel economy and ample space for your family and luggage. With a 5-star car safety rating from the NHTSA, you can hit the road with confidence.

Downsides

  • IIHS crash test scores could be better
  • Interior finish doesn’t feel premium

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Mazda 3: $24,200

Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 is another vehicle that should be on the shortlist for buyers on a budget. This 5-seat sedan features a 191hp, 2.5-litre engine; 16-inch alloy wheels and safety features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. Other features include heated front seats, an 8-speaker sound system and an 8.8-inch-wide colour display, providing plenty of convenience when you’re on the road.

Why it’s one of the best

The Mazda 3 is a great all-round vehicle. It may not deliver super-sporty performance or the same fuel economy as some of the other cars on this list, but it consistently scores well in reviews for confident handling, having a premium interior and coming with useful tech features. It was a 2023 Top Safety Pick and award winner from the IIHS, so the Mazda 3 is a great pick if you’re shopping in the under-$30k price range.

Downsides

  • Some of its competitors are cheaper
  • Rear-seat legroom is a little cramped

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Mazda CX-30: $28,150

MazdaCX-30

No one said cars under $30,000 were only small sedans and hatchbacks, which is where the Mazda CX-30 comes in. This compact SUV is powered by a 191hp, 4-cylinder engine and comes with Mazda’s i-Activ AWD as a standard feature. Other highlights include Mazda Connected Services, 16-inch alloy wheels and safety tech such as blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alerts.

Why it’s one of the best

If you value on-road safety, the 2024 CX-30 earned Top Safety Pick+ status from the IIHS and a 5-star rating from the NHTSA. It’s loaded with Mazda’s i-Activsense safety technologies, and it regularly earns rave reviews for the quality of its on-road handling and interior finish. If you’re shopping for an SUV with a price tag under $30,000, the CX-30 is worth considering.

Downsides

  • Fuel economy could be better
  • Some competitors have more cargo-carrying capacity

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Chevrolet Trax: $21,699

Chevrolet Trax

The Chevrolet Trax is a small SUV that’s big on features. Featuring a 1.2-litre turbo engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Trax combines sporty looks with an engaging driving experience. There’s plenty of interior space too plus handy features like 11-inch display screen, wireless phone integration and Chevrolet Safety Assist technology. Because of its low starting price, you can also upgrade to a higher trim level without exceeding your budget.

Why it’s one of the best

The larger Chevrolet Trailblazer also comes in under the $30k price tag if you want more interior space. The 2024 Trax has consistently received positive reviews from motor journalists. This compact SUV looks great, offers a larger, more comfortable cabin than previous models and is full of practical features.

Downsides

  • Might not be big enough for some buyers’ needs
  • Not known for quick acceleration

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Nissan Sentra: $22,548

Nissan Sentra

Next on our list of the best cars under $30k in Canada, the Nissan Sentra is a compact sedan with a long list of features. It’s powered by a 2-litre, 149 horsepower engine, provides flexible cargo space for each and every journey, comes with an 8-inch touchscreen display and also boasts a Bose sound system. And with safety features like Blind Spot Warning and Rear Automatic Braking included, it’s an impressive all-round package.

Why it’s one of the best

The Sentra may not be the type of car to set anyone’s heart racing, but it does everything it’s designed to do—and does it well. It’s easy on the eye, has a comfortable and practical cabin and comes with a long list of standard safety features. If you’re looking for a convenient and reliable daily drive, the Nissan Sentra could be the perfect fit.

Downsides

  • Nothing exciting about its performance
  • No hybrid option

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Subaru Crosstrek: $28,995

Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek is a compact crossover SUV that has won plenty of fans in Canada and around the world. It features a 152 horsepower engine, 17-inch alloy wheels and rugged styling. Step inside and you’ll find a versatile cargo space, dual 7-inch touchscreens and Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology to help you stay safe on the road.

Why it’s one of the best

The Crosstrek earned a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and a 5-star car safety rating from the NHTSA. Motoring journalists praise it for offering decent off-road performance, a fun driving experience and a long list of features. Add reasonable fuel economy to the mix, and you’ve got a crossover that ticks all the right boxes.

Downsides

  • Price climbs above $30,000 once you add freight and delivery fees
  • Slow acceleration

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Honda HR-V: $28,960

Honda HR-V

Last but not least on our list of the best cars under $30k is the Honda HR-V SUV. This compact SUV features a 2-litre engine that produces 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by automatic climate control, up to 1,559 litres of cargo space, a 7-inch touchscreen display and wireless device charging.

Why it’s one of the best

The 2024 HR-V earned a 2023 Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS and a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA. It delivers a combined fuel consumption of 8.3 L/100km, has a practical cabin and boasts plenty of interior space. If you’re in the market for an affordable SUV, we think the HR-V should definitely be on your test drive list.

Downsides

  • Price climbs above $30,000 once you add freight and delivery fees
  • Engine isn’t particularly powerful

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How we chose the best cars under $30,000

We chose the best cars under $30,000 on this page based on vehicles available in Canada. These vehicles are not representative of the entire market. When choosing our picks for the best under-$30k cars, we considered price, safety, unique features, awards, ratings and sales volume. No single car will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options to find the best fit for your situation.

Ready to buy? Compare car loan providers

1 - 5 of 5
Name Product Ratings APR Range Loan Amount Loan Term Broker Compliance Requirements Long Table Description
CarsFast Car Loans
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
3.90% - 29.90%
$500 - $75,000
12 - 96 months
CarsFast will connect you with a dealership near you to help you find the right financing.
Requirements: Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Loans Canada Car Loans
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
0% - 46.96%
$500 - $50,000
3 - 60 months
Loans Canada is a loan search platform. Get matched with a suitable dealer based on your credit history and borrowing requirements.
Requirements: Min. income of $1,800 /month, 3+ months employed
Dealerhop Car Loans
Not yet rated
6.99% - 29.99%
$7,000 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Dealerhop matches you with a dealer partner to get you financing.
Requirements: Min. income of $2,000 /month, 3+ months employed
Clutch Car Loans
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
From 8.49%
$7,500 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Apply for financing with online dealer Clutch, who partners with some of Canada’s largest financial institutions to get you competitive interest rates.
Requirements: 3+ months employed, Max.1 bankruptcy, Ontario & Nova Scotia only
CarDoor Car Loan
Customer Survey:
★★★★★
From 7.99%
$5,000 - No max.
12 - 96 months
Online dealer CarDoor works with multiple lenders to help you get a competitive interest rate. Apply for financing directly with CarDoor and get help every step of the way.
Requirements: 3+ months employed, Max.1 bankruptcy, Ontario only
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Bottom line

If you’re shopping for a car and you have a $30,000 budget, you might be surprised by how many good-quality options are available. Make sure you know exactly what you need in a vehicle, then compare (and test-drive) a range of options in your price range, to find the best car under $30k for you.

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